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Full text of "Vassar, Mich. : an illustrated description of its enterprises and the men who built them"

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♦fl/^ F^STLING cosily upon either bank of the 
11^ Cass, where once the Indian stalked the 
forest path and the red deer slaked his 
thirst nearly half a century ago, stands today 
the thriving town of Vassar. It is not the purpose 
of this modest little book to turn back the musty 
leaves of life's calendar, and recount the trials of 
pioneer days in this city's history, but to give the 
outside public the story of Vassar " as it is today." 
When we turn aside from the picturesque beauty of 
her environment, and look upon her commercial 
strength and importance, the advantages that sh: 
offers to the man who wants to build a home, the 
air of thrift and refinement that prevades her business 
places, her importance as a railway point, as a manu- 
facturing town, and as a cultured atmosphere in 
which to rear the youth, it is not wonderful that her 
growth has been both strong and lasting. 


Vassar's policy in things educational has always 
been of the broadest sort and characterized by the 
greatest liberality. The fruits of the wise and salu- 
tary methods that have been carried forward from 
year to year, have never been made so conspicuously 
manifest as under the present regime. As an illus- 
tration of the thoroughness of the course obtained 
in the Vassar High School, and that the system 
employed has recognition among the best colleges, 
it is only necessary to state that graduates from 
Vassar are admitted to the Michigan University 
without examination, and to any college in the state, 
and the advance standing in the State Normal at 
Ypsilanti and Agricultural College at Lansing. The 
steady advance of our schools is shown by the statis- 
tics for the past eight years under the supervision 
of Prof. Ira L. Forbes: In 1886-7, the enrollment 

in all the departments was 437 and the average daily 
attendance 257. During the present year, with but 
slight increase in the school census, the enrollment 
is 439 with an average attendance of 354, showing an 
increase of about 50 in enrollment and 100 in daily 
attendance. This increase is found largely in the 
High School. In former years the enrollment was 
50 and the average daily attendance 37. For the 
present year the enrollment has been 115 and the 
attendance 77, an increase in each of more than 100 
per cent. This increase required and received an 
increase in the teaching force. 

vassar's water supply. 
The supply of water that is furnished by the 
Holly system for private use and manufacting pur- 
poses is without a peer in any city of equal size in 
the state of Michigan. Nine flowing wells of pure, 
sparkling water furnishing, according to the analyt- 
ical test of the State Board of Health, the most per- 
fect article for domestic use that it is possible to 
obtain. This is a sanitary item that is worth framing. 
Physicians whose opinions carry weight, say that it 
was owing to the source of pure water supply that 
Vassar was spared the epidemic of typhoid and other 
fevers that have ravaged many Michigan towns this 
year. In addition to the power obtained from the 
city system of waterworks for use in factories, excep- 
tional facilities for milling and other purposes is to 
be had from the dam in the Cass river at this point. 
A mammoth flowing spring possessing curative pro- 
perties that rival those of Mt. Clemens and Alma, 
is located a stone's throw from the railway statio'ns. 
Although this water is bottled here and sold in many 
sections of the state, it has never received the adver- 
tising that has pushed it prominently before the 


Page after page ot this book would be required 
to detail the various industries that thrive and give 
employment to hundreds of her citizens. The city's 
location as a railway center, the cheapness of fuel 
and power make it pos?ib'e for the manufacturer of 
almost anything at the smallest possible outlay, and 
a market for the goods. Who has not heard of Vas- 
sar flannels? Who has not heard of Vassar brick? 
Who has not heard of Vassar flour? Not many in 
Michigan, we think. During the year 1S95, the 
milling firm of M. and C. Miller handled 100,000 
bushels of wheat at their mills here. Upwards of 
2ri,000 bushels of corn, :ir.,nOO bushels of barley, 00,000 
bushels of oats, and 10,000 bushels of buckwheat 
brought the highest market price at their elevators. 

numbers. His bed and table factory, started two 
years ago, gives employment to 12 or 15 men, and 
turns out an article that has within the past six 
months tested the capacity of the factory. Having 
no traveling salesmen other than the goods them 
selves, and in placing large consignments through 
out twenty-five different states, it speaks volumes 
that furniture can be made much cheaper and that 
the raw material is more accessible here than at any 
other point in the 'Thumb" of Michigan. 

The Vassar Brick & Tile Company, that hsfs 
been in existence for six years past, is composed of 
F. Miller and C. O. Evans. They employ from 35 
to 40 men and have a capacity of 3,000,000 brick and 
.100,000 tile. Anything from 2% to 8 inch tile is 
made. The quality of the goods this firm market is 

When you figure 875,000 paid out by this firm dur- 
ing 1S95. to the farmers of this county it means that 
most of this money is spent among the business 
houses. The capacity of this mill is 300 barrels of 
flour per day. The Cooper shop will turn out from 
400 to 500 finished barrels per day. 

During the present year Frank Miller shipped 
from his warehouse in Vassar 80,000 bushels of 
potatoes, 40,000 bushels of oats, 00 000 bushels of 
barley and 23,000 bushels of corn. In addition to 
these enormous figures he handled upwards of SO, 000 
pounds of marketable wool. His 'aw mill at this 
point cut nearly 3,000,000 feet of lumber, and gave 
good wages to 50 hands. It will surprise the average 
reader to stop and thinlc that this mean^ the pay roll 
ior the closing year fogt.s up $10,000.00 in round 

attested by the fact that the contractors on the 
Lapeer home for the feeble minded were compelled 
to use Vassar outside brick in building because of its 
vast superiority over anything obtainable. Ship- 
ments from this company to Saginaw, Detroit, Bay 
City and other Michigan cities show the possibilities 
in this business. 

In 1808 the Vassar Woolen Mills began opera- 
tions. At first wool carding and cloth dressing con- 
stituted the business of the mill, but the product of 
the concern was gradually extended to the manufac- 
ture of yarns, cloth, etc., until at the present day 
nearly everything that can be made in woolen goods 
is turned out. During the past year the business of 
this institution was upwards of §100,000.00, which 
means that the wool-growers of the county were paid 


a whole lot of money. Thirty-five to forty men and 
girls are given employment here year in and year 
out. The officers of the company are T. W. Atwood, 
President; C. T. Jarvis, Vice President; J. G. Seldcn, 
Secretary and Treasurer. The reputation of this 
company's product is everywhere in Michigan a 
synonym for high and honest value. The " Vassar 
Blanket," "Vassap Skirt," "Vassar Cassimeres," 
" Vassar Yarns," are household words in every 
hamlet in Michigan. 

Parker's Foundry & Machine Shops is one of 
the growing industries of Vassar. " Parker's Plows," 
turn the rich loam of many a Michigan farm every 
year, and " Parker's Sleighs" jog smoothly along a 
large number of Michigan roads every winter. Al- 
though the shipments of this concern have increased 


Almost the hardest thing that small towns have 
to contend with is ability to keep fire within safe 
bounds. In Vassar this important item has received 
proper encouragement. The city council appropri- 
ates $2.00 per man for each response to an alarm, 
thereby giving something more substantial than in- 
dividual pride in turning out. The No. 1 hose com- 
pany is composed of fourteen men, acting under the 
direction of Fire Chief William Grant, and they are 
as well trained and consistent a lot of men as ever 
donned the red shirt and helmet. In addition to the 
hose reels, they have a hook and ladder equipment 
for use in cases of emergency. 


The city obtains her light from two electric 

over thirty per cent during the past year in the face 
of the stringent condition of the country the business 
will be run on a larger scale during the coming year. 
The Vassar Pump Company, owned and oper- 
ated by D. C. Atkins and Son, does a nice, profitable 
business down on River street. During the summer 
months they give work to a large number of men and 
manufacture all kinds of force, suction and chain 
pumps, tanks and cisterns. 

dynamos capable of running two hundred and fifty 
incandescent and forty arc lights. The light for 
private use is obtained from the same source at a 
figure that is considerable lower than the cost of oil 
lamps. During the past year the city has undergone 
a series of improvements on the east as well as on 
the west side. Huron avenue has been macadamized, 
stone and cement side walks laid on the business 
streets, and outlying avenues opened and graded. 

Dassaic's Business flbcn 

Among the pioneers of Vassar there is 
no one better known or more universally 
respected than Hon. B. W. Huston. He 
was born in Rochester, N. Y., in 1881, 
and came to Ypsilanti with his parents 
at the age of five years. He was educat- 
ed at Ypsilanti, and admitted to the bar 
at Ann Arbor in September, 18.')4, and 


B. W..HU3T0\. , 

came to Vassar in March, 1855. In 1858 
he was elected Prosecuting Attorney, in 
1867 a member of the Constitutional Con- 
vention, a member of the state House of 
Representatives in 1869-1871, and a mem- 
ber of the Senate in 1879. Mr. Huston 
was a Democrat until the rebellion, when 
he laid politics aside to keep until the war 
was over, and entered the service in 1862 
as Captain of Company B, '2.3rd Regiment 
Michigan Infantry. Was promoted to 
the rank of Major in 1864 and mustered 
out in 1865. Mr. Huston has been singu- 
larly successful both in his profession and 
as a business man, has borne a [irominent 
part in ]->ublic affairs, and has been identi- 
fied in nearly every movement in the 
wellfare of \'assar. 

Hon. David G. Slafter was born at 
Norwich, Vt., January 1, 1817. February 
16, 1843, he married Ann Calista, daugh- 
ter of John Lucas, of Pierrepont, \. Y. 
She was born December 6, 1826. In the 
fall of 1849 they settled in the town of 
Tuscola, and since that time Mr. Slafter 
has occupied a prominent position in 


busmess and public atfairs. With the 
exception cf one year, he has held the 
office of justice of the peace ever since 
1852, and during all that time he has never 
had a case reversed. He was judge of pro- 
liate four years, enrolling officer and deji- 
uty provost marshal from 1863 until the 
close of the war, and a member of the 
legislature in 1863 and at the extra session 
of 1864. Mr. Slafter's business has been 
mainly real estate and lumbering. He is 
now extensively engaged in buying and 
selling pine lands, and at the present 
time is largely interested in pine lands in 
Alabama. He is a stockholder and p;esi- 
dent of the First National Bank, of this 
|ilace, and is also agent of the State Board 
of Charities and Corrections for Tuscohi 

county, by appointment of the Governor. 
Mr. Slafter is a pioneer of the county and 
one of \'assar's best citizens. 

Edwin J. Hovey, \'assar's popular 
dentist, first saw light in Washtenaw 
county, Michigan, in 1841. Mr. Hovey 's 
education, aside from the rudiments of a 
d'strict school, was obtained at Dickinson 
institute at Romeo, and later at the Phil- 
adel|)hia Dental College, at which place 
he received his degree. His residence 
ill Vassar has covered pretty much all 
the years of his professional life, exce|it 
a short time si)eiit at Fenton and Hough- 
ton in this state. In addition to his jirac- 
tlce he at one time owned the Times of 
this city, and was a member of the city 
council for three terms. Mr. Hovey is 
prominejit in Masonic circles, and is one 
of Vassar's clever business men and good 


R. G. LYON. 

Robert G. Lvon, the subject of this 
sketch, was born in Washtenaw county, 
this state. Beginning his education in a 
district school he soon afterward attend- 
ed the union school at Ann Arbor until 
seventeen years of age. The next five 
years was mostly spent in farm work and 
teaching school. When the war broke 
out he was driving team for a lumber- 
man in Pennsylvania for the large sum 
of twelve dollars per month. On May 
16th, 1861, Mr. Lyon enlisted in Co. F,N. 
Y. Vol., then stationed at Elmira, N. Y. 

He served his time and when discharged 
on May 22nd 1863, received an excellent 
recommend from his'captain. Returning 
to Michigan he enlisted December 18, 
1863, in the 14th Michigan Battery Light 
Artillery and served until the close of the 
war. Mr. Lyon came to A'assar in 1880, 
and embarked in the hardware business. 
Since that time he has been honored by 
the people for five years as mayor, three 
years as chairman of the Board of Water 
Commission, and six years as a member 
of the School Board. Mr. Lyon is essen- 
tially a selfmade man, is popular with 
the masses, and sells hardware as cheap 
as he can consistently. 

ued for four years. Mr. Bullard is the 
kind of a man that towns like \'assar 
want. Since coming here he has built 
three houses, a pump factory and a store 
and boomed the upper end by plattmg 
"Bullard's Addition to X'assar." Mr. 
Bullard held the office of Secretary of 
the Masonic lodge for thirteen years, is 
Past Commander of the G. A. R. post, 
has been in the city council for two terms 
county supervisor one term and is at pres- 
ent a member of the school board and 
village assessor. 


E. A. LuLLARU, the farming imple- 
ment anil machinery dealer, is one of the 
old standbys in Vassir. He was born 
November 10, 1840, in Oakland county, 
Michigan, and tilled the soil religiously 
until the war broke out, when his patriot- 
ism got the better of him and he enlisted 
at Brighton in Company I, Fifth Michi- 
gan Infantry. He participated m the 
Peninsular campaign underMcClellan and 
was before Yorktown, Williamsburg, Fair 
Oaks and in the seven days fight before 
Ivichmond, In the battle of Charles City 
Cross Roads he was wounded and dis- 
charged in December, 1862, from the 
Philadelphia hospital. Returning to 
Michigan he located at Hartland, in the 
pump business until September. 1864, 
when he enlisted again with Battery H, 
Fir^t Michigan Light .ArtillerN and stayed 
until the close of the war. In 1866 he 
came toj V'assar and commenced the 
manufacture of pumps which wa5 contin- 

R. W. Miller was born in 1836, and 
was a native of New Jersey. In 1854 he 
went to California with his brother Frank, 
and engaged in mining in the Sierras. 
Together they owned large interests in 
one of the richest mines in the mountains, 
over a million and a quarter dollars being 
taken out in gold dust and S500,000 in div- 
1 iens declared in three years. After clos- 
ing up their mining interests in Califor- 
nia, Mr. Miller came to \'assar in 1872. 
before cars ran over the Detroit and Bay 
City railroad, and formed a partnership 
under the firm name of R. W. and F. 
Miller and dealt in farm produce and 
farmer's supplies. The following year 
they built a large elevator near the depot 
and bought over 300,000 bushels of wheat, 
besides a large amount of oats, corn, etc, 
and shipped over 100 carloads of corn to 
the retail trade during the following win- 

.-*- m^- 

r .:^^^- 


ter. The volume of business over their 
counters run from S2,000 to §5,000 per day. 
In 1880, R. W. Miller severed his connec- 
tion with the firm and went to Colorado 

and mined over a good portion of that 
state. Panicky silver markets and hard 
times were not to his liking and he re- 
turned to Vassar and opened up in the 
boot and shoe business at the corner of 
Huron and Cass avenues. Mr. Miller is 
one of the staunch men of Vassar. The 
fact that he invested heavily in real estate 
is sufficient evidence that he believes in 
her future. 

J. M. S.MITH, Vassar's crack harness 
dealer, is a native of New York, and was 
born in Jefferson county in 1848. When 
Mr. Smith was still wearing knickerbock- 
ers his family removed to Ontario and 


located at London. It was at St. Thomas, 
in the province of Ontario, that he first 
learned the trade of harness-making, 
which he has followed successfully in 
nearly every large city in the Dominion 
and the United States. After putting in 
a good many years rambling about the 
country, Mr. Smith finally located in 
\'assar five years ago. The only avail- 
able place for his business at that time " 
in Vassar was in the Barnum block, and 
It was here that he remained for three 
years, removing two years ago to the 
brick building he now occupies near the 
corner of Huron avenue and River street. 
From the modest beginning his busmess 
has finally branched out to be one of the 
best in Vassar. Mr. Smith's specialty 
is collar work and light harness. His 
work in these two branches being the 
peer of any no matter where made. He 
has manufactured some of the best track 
harness seen in this part of the state, one 

set of which is used by \'assar's game lit- 
tle race mare, American Lady. A num- 
ber of other horse owneis in this section 
come to his place when they want the 
right sort of an article. Mr. Smi'h's 
stock of other goods in the saiMft^'y line 
is the best in A'assar, and his place the 
only one in the county that does not han- 
dle factory work. Personally, Mr. Smi:h 
is popular and well liked, is a member of 
the Knights of Pythias and ihe Foresters 

CHAS. D. jniLl.ER. 

Charles D. Miller, of the firm of 
M. tS; C. Millur, was born in Birmingham, 
Oakland County, Mich., July 15, 1850. 
He was the second son of Abraham 
Miller, a farmer of sterling worth and 
repute in Oakland county. Until the age 
of thirty years he stuck to the plow, and 
first made his debut in the milling busi- 
ness at Auburn, in this state. Peculiar 
adaptibility to this branch of trade 
brought success, and he naturally sought 
a larger field. In May 1884, he turned 
his face toward Vassar and in comiiany 
with his brother, Mark, jiurchased the 
Fenner Mills on the east bank' of the 
Cass. This was followed some time 
after by the purchase of the jilant of the 
Vassar Milling Company, and the output 
of the concern was pushed with restless 
energy. Mr. Miller was married in 1874 
to Miss Nettie Boyd, a Birmingham 
young lady, and they have -three children, 
Charles E. Miller, who is in the milling 
business at Owosso, Howard M., and 
Miss Bessie. In the busy affairs of life 
Mr. Miller finds time to be a prominent 
Mason and a good citizen. 


E. H. Taylor was admitted to jirac- 
tice May, 1873, located in \'assar and has 
continued in practice to the present date. 
He served for two years as Circuit Court 
Commissioner and Prosecuting Attorney 
for Tuscola county; Secretary of the 
School Board for nine years; member of 
the common council of Vassar eight years; 
village Attorney five years; member of 
the Grand Army of the Republic and 
served as Commander four terms in suc- 
cession. Socially he is identified with 
various orginazations, such as the Ma- 
sonic fraternity, Independent Order of 
Foresters, Knights of the Loyal Guard, 
United Friends, and other like orders. 
The subject of our sketch was born at 
Lyth, in the county of Westmoreland, 
England, and emigrated to America 
when quite young. He located at Ran- 
somville, Niagara County, state of New 
York, and during the summer season 
worked on the farm and in the winter 
attended district school. At the age 
of eighten;n he enlisted, August 8, 1H)2, 
as a private soldier in Company E, 
l'29th Regiment NewYork Infantry \'olun- 
teers. During the fall of 1862 the regi- 
ment was transferred and changed to the 
8th New York Heavy Artillery, and com- 
prised twelve companies of rank and file, 
2,000 men. The regiment joined Gener- 
al Grant at the Battle of the Wilderness 
in the the spring of 1864, and remained 
with the army of the Potomac until the 
close of the war as a part of the 2nd Bri- 
gade, 2nd Division, 2nd Army Corps, 
commanded by General Hancock. He 
participated with his regiment in the 
many battles and skirmishes, was also 

present m Ime ol battle when General 
Lee surrendered to General Grant at Ap- 
pomattox, April 9, ISG.J. During his ser- 
vice he rose from the ranks and was com- 
missioned 2nd and 1st Lieutenant of Com- 
pany E, 8th Regiment N. \. Heavy Ar- 
tillery during the month of June, 1865; 
was transferred by order of the War De- 
partment from Company E,Sth Regiment, 
to Comi)any B, 10th Regiment N. Y. Vol- 
unteer Infantry as Captain. Remained 
with the regiment until it was mustered 
out at New York City, July 1865. After 
retur':iiig lo U s home, he taught school 
and read law until April, 1872, when lie 
removed with his wife and children to 
\'ass)r and located at this jjlace where 
he has continued to reside. 

WiLLiA.M H. Merner was born in 
Huron county, Ontario, in 1858, and came 
to \'assar in 1892. Mr. Merner has, smce 
a young man, followed the business of 
funeral director and undertaker. He 
graduated from the Toronto Embalming 
School and the Grand Rapids School of 
Enbalming, in addition to which he took 
a special course at Detroit. For a num- 
ber of years he managed the large under- 
taking estalilishment of Samuel Merner, 


at London, Ontario. In 1892 he came to 
\'assar and purchased the furniture and 
undertaking business of F. R. Fales. Mr. 
Merner was married in 1882, to Miss Sa- 
lome Fisher, of Godrich, Ontario. He 
is a prominent Mason, a solid business 
man and a good citizen, and has since his 
residence in Vassar built up one of the 
best business concerns in the city. 


J. P. Blackmore, who has just retired 
from the p-oprietorship of the Columbia 
Hotel, is a native of London, Ontario. 
He came to Lapeer couuty in 1873, and 
for five months was in the employ of the 
Detroit and Bay City railroad. In 1S74 
he had a timber contract with the Flint 
and Pere Marquette, after which he re- 
turned to Canada and aided in the con- 
struction of the Great Western car shops 
at London. After engaging in bridge 
building in Indiana for a year he returned 
to Vassar and in company with his bro- 
ther purchased the Central House which 
they conducted for four years. Soon after 
he purchased the Jewell House, and 
greatly improved the property in build 
ing and refurnishing. After he had dis 
posed of the Jewell House to R. V. Bray 
he built the Columbia Hotel in 1892 
This is one of the most substantial build 
mgs in the city and is furnished as neatly 
as any in this part of Michigan. Mr 
Blackmore has done his share in the im 
provement of Vassar, and has been large- 
ly interested in the breeding of blooded 
horses. He has also been secretary of 
the Agricultural Society and interested in 
the race meetings in \'assaT since the 
organization of the driving park. 

Mark Miller, of the firm ( 
C. Miller, is a native of Michi 
was born at Birmingham, July 
At the age of twenty years he 
with the George Morris Milli 
pany at Birmingham, and first 
the rudiments of the business in 
afterward became so proficien 
to Nebraska some years later. 

->i M. and 
gan, and 

14, 1852. 

ng Com- 

which he 
t. Going 
ht estab- 

lished a mill at Marysvillf, where he 
remained for two years, returning to 
Michigan at the end of that time. In 
1884, in connection with his brother C. D. 
Miller, he came to \'assar and took the 
old Fenner mill plant. The firm's ability 
to make good goods soon increased the 
business until a larger plant was requir- 
ed, and the McHose plant where the firm 
now do business jiassed into their control. 
Mr. Miller is very prominent in Masonic 
circles and is a member of \'assar Lodge. 

John L. Root, one of Vassar's stanch 
citizens, was born in Litchfield, Ohio, 
Se()tember 2.'5, 1846, and came to Tuscola 
county with his parents at the age of 
thirteen years, and settled near Watrous- 
ville. One yeai after their settlement 
here the war broke out and John's two 


elder brothers enlisted and went to the 
front, leaving him to look after the farm 
interests in common with his father who 
was in poor health. By a diligence that 
has characterized Mr. Root's after life, 
he obtained a good education at the 
Watrousville schools, and afterwards re- 
ceived the finishing touches at the Vassar 
High School and at Oberlin, Ohio. From 
the winter of 1867 until the spring of 1872, 
Mr. Root taught in a number of the 
graded schools in this part of .Michigan, 
and in the last named year went on the 
road for Hill and Brothers, of Detroit, 
at a salary of Si 2,000 a year and expenses, 
continuing with the firm until they went 
out of business in 1875. Having an es- 
tablished trade of no small proportions, 
the Stephens tea, coffee and spice house 

placed him for three years in charge of 
their trade in the cities and large towns 
of Michigan. At the end of this time he 
purchased the store of G. W. Rogers and 
Company, of Watrousville, extending it 
to a big branch concern at Ree^e. Ten 
days after, the Reese store burned to the 
ground and between S4,000 and S5,000 uf 
Mr. Root's good money went up in smoke. 
Although this was a serious blow to the 
young man, he sacrificed his personal 
property and paid out d'^llar for dollar- 
He retired to his old home, remaining 
there for two years before again taking 
the road for the Stephens company, a 
position that he holds today. Mr. Root 
has been identified with everything that 
has Vassar tacked to it, and has been 
popular with the people, having served 
as Justice of the Peace, as a member of 
the city council for two years and a mem- 
ber of the Board of Education, an office 
he holds at the present time. Socially, 
Mr. Root is a member of \'assar Lodge, 
F. and A. M., Caro Chapter, Bay City 
Commandry, and Moslem Temple of 
Detroit. His farm near the outskirts of 
the city is one of the finest in Tuscola 
county and his residence one of the pret- 
tiest that grace our city. Mr. Root was 
married in 1870 to Miss Christie A. Stack, 
of Reese, and they have one daughter. 

Miss Mabel. 

Frank Miller, proprieter of the Vas- 
sar elevator and lumber yards, is a man 
who has little to say, but conducts more 
business in his line than any other man in 
the thumb. At his elevator he purchases 
all kinds of grains and farm produce at 


the market price, and for this reason Vas- 
sar has be cornea great grain market. He 
l>urchases annually from 80,000 to 100,000 
bushels of potatoes alone and his ship- 
ments in all departments are from 700 to 
1,000 cars per year. At his sawmill he 
cuts from two to three million feet of 
lumber each year, and during the sum- 
mer months gives employment to fifty 
hands, with a weekly pay roll of $400. 
He carries a full line of rough, dressed 
and manufactured lumber, lath, shingles, 
coal, lime, salt, plaster, etc. A planing 
mill and bed factory is also conducted in 
connection with tliis business and quite a 
shipping demand is made for the beds. 
He owns and ojierates the Caro Electric 
Light Works and also owns an elevator 
at Caro. Mr. Miller handles a large- 
amount of grain and produce for numer- 
ous smaller buyers throughout the county. 
ISeing acquainted and doing business di- 
rect with the largest dealers in the United 
States, he is able to furnish them the best 
of the metropolitan markets. 

EiJWARD G. Beckerson was born in 
llalderman county, Ontario, in 1864, and 
followed the occupation of agricultural 
pursuits until about ten years ago when 
he came to \'assar. His first position 
here was the management of the Justin 
Wenthworth farm, where he remained 
about a year, going to the T. North farm 
the five years following. He then came 
to Vassar and purchased the livery busi- 
ness of E. A. Bullard, which he has con- 
ducted since that time. Mr. Beckerson 
in connection with Nelson G. Spaulding, 



this fall purchased the Jewell House, one 
of the best hotels in this section of Mich- 
igan. Good management and liberal busi- 

ness methods continue to make the house 
popular and profitable. Mr. Beckerson 
was married in 1885 to Miss Lizzie Slahl. 
He is one of the popular business men 
of the city and is always to be counted in 
on anything that concerns the welfare of 
the town. 

Edwin E. Andrus was born in As- 
tabula county, Ohio, on January 28, 1862. 
Six years ago Mr. Andrus came to \'assar 
and opened up business for the Singer 



Sewing Machine Company, handling in 
connection pianos, organs and all kinds of 
musical merchandise, which he has car- 
ried on successfully since. Mr. Andrus 
IS a member of the Maccabees and 
Knights of the Loyal Guard. He was 
married in 1883 to Miss Alyeda E. Clay 
of Painsville, Ohio. 


John Parker, iiropriutorof the Vassar 
Foundry, is truly a selfmade man. His 
opjioitunities for education when a boy 
were limited, but he made the best of this 
and by pluck and perseverance he has be- 
come one of Vassar's representative citi- 
zens. When he came here he learned 
the pumpmaker's trade and followed that 
occupation until about two years ago, 
when he started into the foundry business 
in the old building where several other 
turns had made a failure. He manufac- 
tured numerous different agricultural im- 
plements, among which might be mention- 
ed the" Parker Plow," which is fast gaining 
the favor of the farmers of the surround- 
ing country. Being a good mechanic 
he makes most of his own patterns, and 
if you are in need of a heavy or light 
casting call on Mr. Parker, and he will 
supply your wants. 

Prescott L. Varnum was born July 
25, 1850, in Lapeer county, and came to 
Vassar in 1875. He immediately engag- 
ed in the shoe business here, and has 
been closely identified with the city's 
growth and interests since that time. 
Mr. Varnum has held various offices of 
public trust, being an alderman eight 
years, city treasurer two years, county 
supervisor five years, and a member of 
the Board of Education for ten years, a 
position he now holds. M'. Varnum has 
in connection with his shoe business been 
the agent of the American Express Com- 
pany at this point. 

C. J. Teeters, of the firm of Knowles 
and Teeters, was born in Columbus, St. 
Clair county, Mxhigan, December 31, 


P. L. VARNUn. 

1865, and received his education at Romeo. 
Mr. Teeters' debut in the butcher busi- 
ness was marked by a whole lot of hard 
work, but it proved a good stepping stone 
to the progress he made in later years. 
In 1885 he opened a market at Washing- 
ton, Michigan, which he contmued for 
two years, removing to Reese, where he 
remained three years. In company with 
W. O. Knowles he formed a partnership 
three years ago, and the firm have contin- 
ued at their present quarters since that 
time. This is one of the young business 
houses cf the city and that people endorse 
the square-toed methods of these two 
young men is evidenced by the patronage 
accorded them. Mr. Teeters was mar- 
ried in 1889 to Miss Maude Pardee, of 
Reese, Michigan. 


The subject of this sketch (Mr. J. W. 
McLellen) was born in Glasgow, Scotland, 
in 1858, was afterwards apprenticed and 
worked in that city for several years and 
has had over twenty years experience in 
Vassar, Toronto and Detroit. He re- 
moved here from the latter place three 
years ago, filling the position of head cut- 
ter for the Vassar Pant Company, and six 
months later established his present busi- 
ness. Mr. McLellan comes honestly by 
his adaptibility to the trade, his paternal 
grandfater, two uncles, father and three 
members of this family being engaged in 
the business. In addition to the trade 
that is accorded him at home he also 
does an extensive business at Caro, Mil- 
lington, Mayville and adjoining towns. 
Mr. McLellan employs a force of skilled 
workmen that enables him to turn out an 
article of work second to none in the 


Gilbert H. Moore, the subject o 
this sketch is a native of Michigan, anc 
was born in Mt. Clemens, Macomb coun 
ty, May 18, 1857. In boyhood he was de 
prived of many advantages generally en 
joyed by the youth of the count -y, and 
when he made a start in the world the 
only thing he had to recommend him- 
self was gcod health, industry and energy, 
and they proved a good stepping stone 
to success. Mr. Moore came to \'assar 
six years ago, and opened up neat tonsor- 
ial jiarlrrs, where he made cleanliness 
and diligence the ruling feature. Social- 
ly, Mr. Moore is a Mason, holding the 
office of Senior Deacon, is a Knight of 
Pythias, a member of the Knights of the 
I^oyal Guard, and has represented Vas- 
sar Lodge of Odd Fellows in the Grand 

a. H. MOORE. 

Lodge. Always willing to lend a hand in 
anything that pertained to the welfare of 
Vassar, he has made for himself some- 
thing that is always beneficial, "a good 
name at home." 

Charles O. Evans was born January 
12, 18G2, in New Boston, Michigan. Ever 
since he was able to wear long pants he 
has been in the brick business, working 
first for his father at his New Boston 
yards, and later was twelve years in busi- 
ness for himself at Caro. Six years ago 
Mr. Evans came to Vassar and in com- 
pany with F. Miller organized the Vassar 
Brick and Tile Company. The concern 
is one of the best institution in Vassar, 
giving employment to a large number of 
men and doing an evtens've "-h-ppin? 

business. Mr. Evans is an unassuming, 
straightforward business man and belongs 
to Vassar lodge of Masons. He was 
married in 1890, to Miss Kate Adams, of 


O. Knowles, the subject of 

sketch, is a Canadian by birth, being born 
at Dorchester, Ontario, April 3, 1867. 
Mr. Know'es had only passed the second 
mile stone of his existence when his fam- 
ily removed to Vassar, and it was here 
that he received his edu' ation at our high 
school. T hree years ago Mr. Knowles in 
company with C. J. Teeters, formed a 
partnership and established the meat 
and poultry business at their present lo- 
cation. Strict attention to business and 


square busmess methods win for the firm 
a good patronage. Mr. Knowles was 
married in 1889 to Miss Anna A. Lewis, 
o' ^'■a'■sar. 

The county of Lapeer has contributed 
some pretty good citizens to the domain 
of Vassar during the past twenty-five 
years, among whom we mention W. R. 
HoUenbeck. He was born on November 
11, 1862, and received a common school 
education, that was afterwards polished 
off at the Otisville grade 1 schools. At 
the age of twenty-one years Mr. HoUen- 
beck embarked in the grocery business at 
Columbiaville, removing to Vassar two 
years later, being may ir of Columl)ia- 
ville at the time. During his res'dence 
in Vassar Mr. HoUenbeck has served as 
township clerk for three years, been a 
member of the board of alderman for two 
years, and in 1893 was honored by being 
elected supervisor7 on the republican 
ticket. He has always been looked upon 


as a consistent worker for the interest of 
the people, and is at present a member of 
the Water Board of this city. Mr. Hollen- 
beck's grocery business is located at the 
corner of Cass and Huron ; 

James A. Trotter, editor of the Tus- 
cola County Pioneer, was born in 1862, 
in Schoharie county. New York. In 1863 
he removed to Vassar where his educa- 
tion was completed in the Union schools. 
In 1869, when he was about seventeen 
years of age his father purchased the Pio- 
neer and in conjunction with the two sons, 
J. A. and William, began its publication. 
In 1875 the two purchased the father's in- 
terest and two years later the interest of 
William was bought by the present 
owner. Mr. Trotter was clerk of the city 
from 1876 to 18S0, wns for four years a 



member of the Common Council and 
served six years on the Board of Educa- 
tion. He has been connected with the 
Tuscola County Agricultural Society for 
many years and that organization owes a 
measure of its popularity and success to 
Jim's good head work. Mr. Trotter is 
conspicuous in Masonic circles and has 
served as Master of the Vassar lodge for 
a number of years. 

\V. T. Watson was bom in New York 
state in 1S64, and removed with his par- 
ents to Mecosta county, Michigan, at the 
age of one year. Mr. Watson is the son 
of Rev. R. H. Watson, a Congregational 
minister of considerable repute in Mich- 
igan. His first venture in the art of pho- 
tography was at Bellevue, Michigan, and 
afterward at Shephard. Three years ago 
he came to X'assar and purchased the 
gallery at his present location. His work 
embraces every branch of photography. 
Mr. Watson was married in 1892 to Miss 
Alice Monroe, at Calamo, Michigan. 

E. Emmett Miller, one of the "young 
crowd" of Vassar, was born January 1, 
lS7:i, in this city. He attended the 
Vassar high school and got a good 
start in the world by staying around thc- 
old Times office on " press days," and 
"learning the cases" by the ruddy glow 
of an oil lamp at nights. Six years ago he- 
was given the charge of the mechanical 
department of the Tuscola County Pio- 
neer, one of the best county papers in 
Michigan, a position he now occupies. 
One year ago he assumed the manage- 
ment of Miller's Opera House, one of the 
prettiest and most substantial theaters in 
the "Thumb." The liberal and consis- 
tent methods that characterize his man- 
agement has given the house a "good 
name at home," and as theatrical people 
express it, "a good place to come to." 


The class of attractions that have visited 
Vassar since he assumed charge have 
been of the highest order. 


i^, i^i 


W . T. \S ATSON. 

W. J. Spe.\rs, of the law firm of Huston 
and Spears, was born thirty-two years 
ago in Arbela, Tuscola county, and by 
his own ]iluck and energy pushed him- 
self to the front in his profession. In 18.5-J 
he began the study of law in the office of 
which he is now a partner, was admitted 
to the bar of Tuscola county in 1885, and 
in June, 1886, graduated from the Univer- 
sity of Michigan receiving the degree 
of Bachelor of Law. He returned to 
\'assar the same year, was elected Circuit 
Court Commissioner, and re-elected in 
1888. Mr. Spears was elected City At- 
torney in 1892, an office he holds at the 
present time. He is also Secretary of the 
Board of Trustees of the Michigan School 
for the Deaf, and has been honored in 
various ways by the people. 


One of the substantial business con 
cerns of Vassar has for its founder and 
perpetuator, C. A. Mapes. His business 
was established in 1887 and the trade 
that has been accorded him has been 
, nothing short of phenomenal. The stock 
of clothing, furnishing goods, hat, caps, 
etc., is the largest carried in Tuscola 
county and his sales foot up the heaviest 
of any local concern doing business here- 
in that line. Mr. Mapes has vast inter- 
ests in Vassar, bemg one of the directors 
of a local bank and holding various other 
business interests. He was honored by 
the people by being elected alderman 
and is prominent in the Pythian and 
Masonic fraternities. 

The Tuscola County Agricultural So- 
ciety is one of the few successful county 
fair organizations in the state. Organized 
over thirty years, the society has each 
year met with the hearty approval and 
liberal support of the people and every 
succeeding fair seems to be an improve- 
ment over its predecessor. The society 
is an institutibn believed in and appre- 
ciated by the farmers of the county, who 
realize its value from an agricultural 
as well as the commercial standpoint. In 
addition to its distributing many hundred 
dollars yearly to patrons, it is through 
the stimulus of its exhibitions that the 
best products of the farm and household 
have been developed and the " scrub " 
been forced to give way to the thorough- 
bred, until no county in the state can 
boast of finer or better bred horses, cattle. 


sheep or swine, than can ours. The an- 
nual fairs of the society are held at \'assar. 



the railroad and commercial center of the 
county. The fair grounds comprise 
twenty-three acres, artistically laid out 
and fully equipped with commodious 
buildings excelled by no town or city in 
the state. The half-mile track is pro- 
nounced by hoursemen to be the best in 
Michigan. The grounds and improve- 
ments represent an outlay of nearly 

The officers for 1895 are. President, 
Wm. Kirk, Fairgrove ; Vice-President, 
N. E. York, Arbela ; Secretary, R. S. 
Weaver, Watrousville ; Treasurer, J. A. 
Trotter, \'assar. 

William Grant, crack laundryman, 
is a native of this city, and was born Feb- 
ruary 5, 1864. Nine years ago he opened 
an unpretentious hand laundry that re- 
received so much encouragement in both 
the city and surrounding towns that a 
steam plant was soon necessary to keep 
apace with the volume of business. This 
was put in six years ago. Since that 
time new and approved laundry machin- 
ery has been constantly added and facili- 
ties for handling out of town work materi- 
ally increased. Regularagenciesat Yale, 
Columbiaville, Reese, Richville, Brown 
City and fifteen other Michigan towns 
give the shipping department of the busi- 
ness plenty to look after. Mr. Grant is 
purely a Vassar product and by a persist- 
ant exhibition of pluck, together with a 
general popularity, nas gained a success 
that anybody could be proud of. 

.DlIk.MAN C. C. HILl. 



VV. H. STARK, Hayor. 




l^aeeav's Common Council 

William H. Stark, the present Ma- 
yor of Vassar, was born in Port Dover, 
Ontario, July 15, 1861. In 1862 he remov- 
ed with his parents to Saginaw, where 
he worked in the soap factory owned by 
his father. At the early age of sixteen 
he began in the livery business for him- 
self, which he carried on successfully 
four years, turning his hand to railroad 
contracting next, at which he was especi- 
ally fortunate. In 1883 Mr. Stark return- 
ed to \'assar and engaged in the livery 
business which he conducted for six 
years, and later was in the boot and shoe 
business for three years. After selling 
out his boot and shoe business he became 
one of the firm of Stark and Mapes, now 
known as the ^'assar Pant Company, and 
after a year of successful business pur- 
chased the entire interest which has since 
been carried on by him. From the mod- 
est beginning, the business of this concern 
has grown so rapidly that it requires a 
working force of thirty employes. In the 
past year the business of the concern 
covered every town north of \'assar in 
Michigan and many Wisconsin cities. 
Something over §10,000 was paid during 
the year just ending for labor, which rates 
this institution among the best. Mr. Stark 
is a member of ^'assar Lodge, Free and 
Accepted Masons, Knights of Pythias, 
Independent Order of Foresters, Knights 
of the Maccabees and Loyal Orange 
Lodge. In politics he is a Republican 
and has been honored by being elected 
township treasurer in 1889 and 1890, and 
in 1891 was elected Mayor of Vassar, an 
office which he fills efficiently at the pre- 
sent time. Mr. Stark was President of 
the Tuscola County Republican Club for 
one year and is at present a member of 
the Republican County Central Commit- 
tee. He was also honored in the Sena- 
torial Convention at Lapeer by having 
the solid vote of his county for 104 ballots 
for the nomination of Senator for the 
twenty-second senatorial district. It was 
in this memorable convention that John 
L. Preston was nominated on the one 
hundred and fifth ballot by a unanimous 
vote. Mr. Stark possesses more than or- 
dinary force of character, which is guided 
by a clear discernment and excellent 
business capacity. 

The subject of this sketch, Mr. Sanford, 
was born in Green county. New York, in 
1842, and came to Michigan in 1870 and 
settled in Ingham county. It was in 1881 
that Mr. Sanford came to \'assar and 
started in business in the hardware line, a 
branch of trade with which he had been 
identified since his boyhood days. His 
success is not therefore the result of 
chance, but the fruit of wise and consist- 
ent methods and business vigilance. His 
store in Vassar is located in the Huston 
block and is one of the most centrally 
located, and his stock the peer of any in 
Tuscola county. Mr. Sanford has always 
been identified with the best intsrests of 
V^assar and has backed his faith in the 
proud city of the Cass by encouraging all 
of her institutions. He was elected by 
the people as a member of the board of 
aldermen two years ago, a place he holds 
at the present day. Socially Mr. Sanford 
is affiliated with the Masonic fraternity 
and belongs to the \'assar lodge. 

Charles C. Hill, the shoe man of 
Vassar, was born in Birmingham, Michi- 
gan, April 20, 1863, and was a son of 
Rev. S. N. Hill, the widely known pastor 
of the Presbyterian church in \'assar. 
Mr. Hill received his education at the 
\'assar high school, and in 1881 allied 
himself with the Vassar Woolen Com- 
pany as house salesman, continuing in 
that capacity until 1894 with the excep- 
tion of two seasons. Three years ago he 
formed a partnership in the shoe and fur- 
nishing goods business under the firm 
name of Hill and Lewis. On January 1, 
1895, Mr. Hill succeeded the firm, and has 
conducted the business since that time. 
He was elected alderman last year on the 
Republican ticket, is prominent in Ma- 
sonic and Pythian circles and is well liked 
by patrician and plebian. Hill owes his 
success in business to the liberal use of 
printers ink and common sense. There 
are not many homes in Tuscola county 
that have not heard of Hill, the shoeman. 
In addition to the shoe business he finds 
time to act in the capacity of City Clerk 
and secretary of the Business Men's As- 
sociation. Mr. Hill was married in 1885 
to Miss Alice Hough, of .Almont. 

The subject of this sketch, J. E. Ves- 
celius was born October 10, 1848, in Em- 
field, New York. In 1857 he removed 
with his family to Tuscola county, and 
settled on a farm three miles south of 
Tuscola. Mr. Vescelius came to \'assar 
in 1877 and engaged in thegun and sport- 
ing goods business. His business house 
is located on Cass avenue near Huron. 
He also buys raw furs in season and does 
considerable business in this line. In 1885 
he organized the ^'assar Rifle Club with 
twenty-five members. The range of the 
club is located within the city limits, and 
its members enjoy the distinction of win- 
ning a large number of first prizes in the 
state shoots. Mr. Vescelius is a member 
of the board of aldermen of the city of 
Vassar and is one of her good citizens. 

Alderman Thomas M. Stephens was 
born in Almont, Lapeer county, Michigan, 
November 24, 1855, and was satisfied to 
till the soil of Lapeer county until he was 
twenty-five years of age. In 1880 he was 
married to Miss Hattie A. Hough, of Al- 
mont, and removed to Vassar and formed 
a partnership with M. T. Butts in the 
grocery business. The firm continued in 
existence for three years. Mr. Stephens 
then removed to Romeo and entered the 
store of J. J. Cochrane where he remained 
for four years. He then took the road for 
H. P. Baldwin and Company, a Detroit 
shoe house, and removed his family to 
Vassar. Mr. Stephens was elected last 
spring to the office of alderman, he is sup- 
erintendent of the Baptist Sunday School 
and is an active worker in church affairs. 
Mr. Stephens is the kind of citizens Vas- 
sar is glad to hold. 

As an evidence that it pays to attend 
to business and follow the straight and 
narrow path, it is only neccessary to point 
to the career of H.J. Miller, one of \'as- 
sar's crack druggists. He was bora on 
September 6, 1866, at Lawrence, Ontario, 
and received only a common school edu- 
cation. At the age of sixteen he entered 
a drug store at Fort Gratiot where he 
remained for ten years. In March, 1891, 
Mr. Miller came to Vassar and started in 
business for himself with but little money 


and whole lots of energy. By a liberal 
use of tfie latter he sot a good fund of 
the former and has one of the best con- 
ducted drug concerns in this county. He 
has served two years as alderman of this 
city, and is trustee and treasurer of the 
M. E. Church, is a Mason and a member 
of the Royal Arcanum. Mr. Miller was 
married in 1892 to Clara A. Swartzfeiguer- 
of \'assar, and has one of the neatest 
little homes in the city. 

John \V. Goll.\n was born in Ran- 
somville, New York, in 1861, and received 
his education at Lockport, Xew York. 
In 18S0 Mr. Gollan came to X'assar and 
entered the dry goods store of McHose 
and Gage, remaining there something 
over a year when he was engaged as sales- 
man for William Barie and Son, of 
Saginaw. In 1888 he formed a partner- 
ship with J. T. Stecker in the dry goods 
business which continued up to the time 
of Mr. Stecker's death, when Mr. Gollan 
assumed the entire business. This was 
in 1890. The business has been conduct- 
ed by him on a strictly first-class plan 
since that time, and is one of the model 
places of business in \"assar. and is pop- 
lar socially. He was married in 1890 to 
Miss Birdell Garman, of Vassar. 

Mr. Gollan was elected alderman of 
of the city last year. 


Ira L. Forbes, superintendent of the 
\assar schools, was born in Wayne coun- 
ty, Xew York, in 1842, being fresh from 
school in 1862, when his patriotism caused 
him to enlist in the 18th Michigan Infan- 
try. After nine months in camp and 
field, his education and attainments 


caused him to be released from field duty 
and assigned to duty in the Provost Mar- 
shal's department as clerk of the military 
prisons at Nashville, Tennessee. He was 
soon made chief clerk, a position which 
he filled to the satisfaction of the General 
in charge to the close of the war. After 
the war he was again at school for a year, 
after which he began his career as a 
teacher of the young, which he has fol- 
lowed continuously ever since. He is now 
in his ninth year as Superintendent of the 
\'assar schools, having successfully held 
the position against a most wicked attack 
by the County Board of E.xaminers in 
the interest of one of their number. Not 
one of the corrupt board is now in the 
teaching profession in our county. Mr. 
Forbes is always prominent in any move- 
ment for culture or advancement and it is 
due to him that Vassar's schools are in 
a prosperous condition. 

Richard Morris, M. D., one of the 
most successful practitioners of Tuscola 
county, is a native of Limerick, Ireland. 
When he was less than a year old his 
parents emigrated to the new world and 
settled in Xew York State, removing later 
to Canada, where he received his educa- 
tion. Dr. Morris is a graduate of the 
Toronto School of Medicine, of the Buffa- 
lo University and of the Military School of 
Canada. In 1870, Dr. Morris came to 
Tuscola county and settled at Watrous- 
■ ville, in which place he continued the 
practice of his profession until 1883 when 
he removed to Vassar. He was married 
in 1870 to Josephine Jilson. Dr. Morris 

is a close student and an able diagnos- 
tician, is a Mason and has held the office 
of county coroner most of the time since 
his residence here. At the present time 
he holds the office of health officer of 

Arthur S. Rogers, M. D., Ph. C, is 
one of Tuscola county's own sons and 
first saw the light of day thirty-two years 
ago at Watrousville. Dr. Rogers receiv- 
ed his education at the ^"assar high school, 
and in 1882 entered the pharmacy depart' 
of the University of Michigan, taking a 
literary course in connection, finishing 
the Ph. C. course in 1885 with a credit of 
three years on the A. B. chemistry course. 
In the spring of 1885 he opened and 
assumed the management of the Eagle 
drug store in Saginaw, remaining in that 
capacity until the business was disposed 
of two years later. As the drug business 
was intentionally preparatory to the 
study of medicine, he returned to the 
University of Michigan and entered the 
medical department upon advanced 
standing and finished in 1890. During 
the year following he practiced medicine 
and taught pathology in the University,, 
and came to Vassar in 1892. Although 
he took only temporary quarters in this 
city his success as a practitioner among 
the people of his own county have made 

A. S. ROGERS, n. D. 

them permanent. Dr. Rogers is a mem- 
ber of the Washtenaw Medical Associa- 
tion and holds the position of Health Offi- 
cer of Vassar. His practice is one of the 
most lucrative m the county, and a pleas- 
ing personality has made him popular 
with the masses. 


Rev. Charles H. Morgan, Ph. D., 
pastor of the First M. E. Church, Vassar, 
was born in Oakland county, Michigan, 
November IS, 1852, his ancestors for two 
generations back being natives of New 
York and New Jersey. He is a graduate 
of the Northwestern University, Evans- 
ton, Illinois, IS'il, and of Boston Univer- 
sity, Schtol of Theology, 1879, School of 
all Sciences, degree of Ph. D., I*s3. In 
1.S79 he became a member of the 
Annual Conference, and his previous ■ 
jiastorates have been at Marquette, Fow- 
lerville, Komeo, Jefferson Street, Sagi- 
naw, Fast Side, Adrian, West Bay City, 
and Howell. He married Miss Emma D. 
Webster, of Farrington, Michigan, June 
22, 1887. They have one child, Leslie 
Webster, born March 10, 1894. Dr. Mor- 
gan has always given close attention to 
work among the children and young peo- 

ple, and was a member ol the convention 
which organized the Epworth League at 
Cleveland in 1889. Revivals, temper- 
ance and other social reforms are a pro- 
minent feature of his work. He is the 
author of a system cf galher'ng and class- 
ifying newspajier material and of various 
lectures, the most popular of which are 
" The Seven Wonders of the Nineteenth 
Century," " Five-Fifths of a Farmer," 
and " Social Movements of our times." 

The First Presbyterian Church of Vas- 
sar dates back ta the spring of 1865. 
Although the church organization dates 
from 1865, there was no regular minister 
until 1856 when Rev. George Winter, 
then located at Brandon, Oakland county^ 
made a visit and preached for the first 
time in the frame school house opposite 
the tannery. The first church edifice 
was built and dedicated in August, 1859, 
and the jiresent spacious building was 
erected in 1891. Mr. E. A. Huffman, the 
present pastor, is a man of broad views 
and liberal education. 

The Vassar Class of the United P.reth- 
em in Christ was organized with thitty- 
five members in 1880, in the old town hall 
( verthe 7>V;/« office, and in the following 
year built the house which they now oc- 
cupy on the east side of the river. Rev. 
A. E. Serbert was the organizer and 
builder of the first house of worship. 
Since that time ten pastors have had 
charge of the interests of the little flock- 
Rev. Ira J. Tripp, the present incumbent, 
was admitted to the ministry in 1893 and 











■'-■ - -J 




■•— ^^-;2»:„;"" 

took the pastorate of the L'nited Brethern 
Church at Petoskey in 1894. In 1895 he 
came to Vassar, and interest in the work 
has increased materially since that time. 
The Methodist Episcopal Church Soci- 
ety was formed by S. P. Lee, preacher 
in charge of the Genesee Circuit, in Octo- 
ber, 1851, and consisted of L. W. Van 
Kleeck, Emily Van Kleeck. Ebenezer 
Morse, Elizabeth and Harriet Gibbs, 
wives of Sabin and Orin Gibbs. This 
class was afterwards disbanded, but was 
aga'n organized in 1864 by Charles 
Haines, preacher in charge of the Tus- 
cola Circuit and consisted of six members, 
from which has grown the present flour 
ishing society. Vassar was connected 
with the Tuscola Circuit and had preach- 
ing by pastors appointed for Tuscola 
until 1863, when the name was changed 


to \'assar and J. H. Horton appointed 
pastor. The services were held in the 
school house until ihe Presbyterian 
church was dedicated, and which was 
used until they built a church of their 
own. At the conference of 1867, J. O. 
Bancroft was appointed to Vassar in view 
of building a church. At this time there 
were but thirty five members in the 
church and it looked almost an impossi- 
bility to build a church, but with thebnsi- 
ness men of the town on the board of 
trustees and the indefatigable labor of 
the pastor and his wife, a substantial 
church was built and furnished at a cost 
of S7,400. It was dedicated July 11, 1869. 
A Sunday school was also organized and 
has been carried on very successfully un- 


der the efficient superintendency of the 
Hon. B. W. Huston for the past twenty- 
five years. The present home of this so- 
ciety was began in May of this year and 
is one of the finest specimens of church 
architecture that can be found. The 
basement consists of a reception hall, 
dining room, kitchen and furnace room 
with all the necessary equipments. The 
audience room has a raised floor with cir- 
cular seats and will accommodate four 
hundred and fifty people. The Sundav 
school room is in immediate connection 
and is separated from the main room by 
a rolling partition. This new edifice was 
dedicated September 1, 1S95. 

REV. W . H. ISr.TTC^S 

The First Bapiist Church of \'as?ar 
was organized April IT), lbS8, with a char 
ter membership of nine persons In 
May, 1889, the society incorporated under 
laws of the state, and was recognized as 
a regular Baptist church. The services 
are for the present held in the Grand 
Army hall on Huron avenue, while the 
magnificent temple of worship that the 
earnest and willing workers of the society 
are building, is in the course of erection. 
A brief description of the dimensions of 
this church is given. The total length is 
78 feet and the width 60 feet; the auditor- 
ium is 45x47 feet, with a Sunday school 
room separated by rolling partitions. 
The general style is Romanesque, built 
of Grindstone City quarry stone and the 
best Vassar brick to finish. The public's 
responses in aid of the church has 
been liberal and satisfying and while 
it was not designed to erect a structure of 

elaborate proportions, it will compare 
favorably with any church in Tuscola 
county. The present pastor. Rev. W. H. 
Betteys, is a conservative and consistent 
man, has the polish of a brilliant educa- 
tion and a business ability that would do 
anybody proud. 


In 1847 an appropriation of 3,000 acres 
of land was made by the government to 
build "White Bridge" over the Cass 
river at Bridgeport. The contract was 
awarded to Townsand North, Judge J. M. 
and Newton Edmunds. At the comple- 
tion of their contract Mr. North was made 
agent for the company to select the lands, 
and he proceeded up the Cass and select- 
ed some fine pine lands where the flourish- 
ing city of \'assar now stands. In 1849 
the c mpany erected a small shanty near 
the present site of the \\ illiamson tan- 
nery, and proceeded to b nld up a town. 

towns springing up around us for honors, 
on June 15, 1866, Caro, then called "Cen- 
terville," by the aid of Tuscola, secured 
the plum. 

During the month of August, 1854, the 
village of \'assar was surveyed and the 
plat recorded. In 1858 the Presbyterian 
church was erected and a'so tlie first 
drug store in the county opened. The 
Woolen factory was erected in 1867 and 
and Vassar began to assume the airs of a 
modern town. 

In 1872 the Michigan Central railroad 
was built and the village incorporated. 


This is one of the finest hotels in the 
city and county. The building, a large 
structure, 80x100 feet, two stories, is built 
of brick in excellent design. It was 
erected three years ago at a cost of S9,000 
and Vassar is indebted to J. P. Blackmore 
for its good hotels as he also built ^n ad- 


They soon had a sawmill in operation, 
where the Phillips and Sturgis plant now 
stands and in the meantime opened a 
general store near the same place. 

S. P. Lee organized the first church 
society, and the small band of worshipers, 
composed of six members, held their first 
meeting on October 14, 1851. 

Judge F.dmuTids presided over the first 
court, held in the county in 1852. \'assar 
was then the county seat, but owing to a 
fight which was bemg carried on by the 

dition to the Jewell House, thereby 
doubling its capacity at an expense of 
S6,500 and erected several buildings on 
the Fairview farm costing §5,000. He 
has been a friend to the laborer as can be 
seen by the above and has always worked 
hard for the growth and interest of the 
village, taking an active part in the 
building of Recreation Park to which he 
donated S7.50 besides other improve- 


■ arrangement of the H'-tel 

Columbia is excellent. On the lower 
floor to the right is the commodious office, 
with reading, baggage and sample rooms, 
bath and toilet rooms in rear, while to the 
left of the hall is the large dining room 
with seating capacity for fifty persons' 
and the cuisine is first class. On the 
upper floor are attractive parlors for 
ladies and gentlemen and thirty guest 
chambers all' well furnished and the 
etjuipment is first class throughout. 
The house has an excellent transient 

well known throughout the county and 
state, having been in the hotel business 
for years in this city. His reputation as 
a host is proverb'al, and his house one of 
the best in the state. 

A fine livery and feeding stables m 
connection with capacity for fifty horses 
and in that line is well patronized by 
people in surrounding towns and country, 
customers often coming from fifteen to 
twenty miles. A full line of light and 
heavy carriages are constantly on hand. 

Miller's Opera House is a building 
highly creditable to the flourishing city. 
It was erected in 1879 by R. W. Millur, at 
a cost of SlO,000, and is located at the 
corner of Main street and Huron avenue 
The auditorium is reached by a wide 
range of stairs from Main street. The 
exterior is of red brick, a steel stair 
case being attached to the outside as a 
means of escape from fire. The seating 
capacity of the house is about 800, the 
gallery holding, perhaps, .300 of this nuin 


trade from travelers and others ; also a 
liberal patronage from residents of Vas- 
sar and Tuscola county. 

S. Blackmore, the present proprietor, is 

enjoying an excellent livery trade and 
first class rigs are ready at any time of 
the day or night. 


ber. The interior decorations are the fin- 
est in this quarter of Michigan outside of 
Saginaw and the scenery of such quality 
and abundance that would do credit to a 
much larger city. The destinies of the 
house are presided over by E. Emmet 
Miller and nothing but the best attrac- 
tions are booked. The stage is reached 
by a covered stairway connected with the 
Jewell House, which provides easy access 
to the visiting theatrical companies. 

W. B. Cavers, has been connected 
with the meat business in Vassar for sev- 
eral years. He first started in business 
in the Davis building but later purchased 
the Jones block and removed his business 
there. Mr. Cavers does a strictly cash 
business and his large sales and steady 
increase of trade shows that this method 
may be successfully carried out. He al- 
ways keeps a full line of fresh and salt 
meats, poultry and fish in season. 







This school alwa3s gives one 
week's trial free. 

Enter the International at Bay 
City for one week and pa}' 
no money, then enter any 
other in the Valley, and if 
you do not prefer this school 
you will be ffi\en one year's 


When . . . 

In such woi-k as we do liere, 

write us for terms, etc. 
Visit our School if possible. 
Try our School, and 
Last, but Not Least, 

till you have tried it. 

Address : 

mtematioiial Business College, 

Bay City, Michigan. 

Varnum's Bazaar. 

\ \ \ \ \\ \\N \ \\N \ \ \\ \ \ N \ \\ \ N \ \ \ S 

AATe Ceiter to t\\<^ People wlio 
Wisli to Ecor|omize. 

It's our business to tell j-ou that our prices have been on the jack-plane and are scaled 
down to the quick. We sell the staples of the Dry Goods business at prices that no other house 
can touch, for we're satisfied to sell you oftener, and in any quantity. 

All the man)' departments of Bazar Meixhandizing can be found with us. 

Lamps, Tinware, 
UQderwear, fOiXxzy Goods, 
F^ibbons, Toilet Sets, 
Perfumery, Etc. 

Standard Patterns. 

We are the only store in Vassar that carr}- in stock a full line of Patterns. 

You don't have to wait two weeks after you,ve found what 

you want, for we have it here. 

The Standard Patterns are the best made. 

Newspapers, Magazines 

-—-""■■ "™->r^-s V \ \ \ \ ..\ ;4\.s^^:^^^::s^^'%*:: \ n \ \ \:*^^i^^^-- 

A new feature of our business is the adding of a stock of Magazines, 

Newspapers, etc. AH the late and popular periodicals 

can be found on our counters. 

By the way, we're headquarters for anything in Stationery. 

R. D. Varnum's Bazaar, 



...A Man or Woman... 

Speaking SEVEN LANGUAGES may not know the right price of 
things needed for the home everyday 

In our Block of Stores may be found pretty much every thing needed in the Dry Goods, 
Carpet and Gloak line for Women's needs and Men's wear, with a certainty 
that the qualities can be depended upon, and the 




Wioi Mil Cufiate, HI 
m Mm I 

II, io*s « cuiifci GQfpeis. 


Dfess Ml Sis, M 

GW8, ips. mmi \tm\i umii 
%mi NecteQf, Ml [m ifl Wm. 



THE MAILS makes us all neighbors, and our Mail Order Deparlment 
is Prompt, Accurate and Intelligent. MONEY BACK if you want it. 
Should your order bring you the wrong thing, don't keep it. 
Send it back with instructions to recall your money 
and the next mail will bring it. 

Porteous, Mitchell & Co. 

Dry Goods, Carpets and Cloaks, 

<^i^ Saginaw, West Side, Mich. 

Many %, 


— One whole year's trial, 

We are willing to give the riders of good Bicycles the benefit of 
our long study and practical ingenuity. 

We will simply state that we have made the most valuable im- 
provements on Ball Bearings now out. 

If You ^ 

Are Interested 

Write us, and when we get our Catalogue out we 
will mail you one, then you can see that we have something that 
is worth a great deal if it is speed and perfection that you are 
after, besides, we charge you no more for our BEST than you 
would have to pay elsewhere. 

We also put a wheel on the market, made of good material, at a less price, 
only it has the usual style of ball bearings, not so good as our best, 
B//f quite as o-ood as any produced up to date. 

Fischer Bros. 

Factory and Office 

214=216 N. Franklin St. Saginaw, E. 5., flich. 


Mall iC^apere 

©rugQiete' Sunbriee 

Scbool JSoohe 


We meet any kind of a price 
on goods in the - 







FroiiT tine Cleanest Stock in Tuscola County. 

We have constantly on hand a full stock of Diamond Dyes and recommend them to our 
customers as the best and most reliable. 

We call especial attention to the valuable new colors just added to the list : Black for 
Silk and Feathers, Fast Bottle Green, and four new cotton colors, all fast to washing with soap 
and will not fade or crock. Fast Pink, Fast Orange, Fast Garnet, Fast Purple. 


H. J. MILLER, Druggist, 




Dry Goods & 
Carpet Co. 

128, 130, 132 and 134 
'• North Franklin St 

Saginaw, East Side. 


Cein be broLigflit to your doors }^y rising" our 
for Saiiix:>les of aiTV tliiiio- you \A/aut. 





Jaiuiary Clearing Sale, Ending January Jisf, 

Neiu Spring Goods in February, 

And so on each month all the year, 

Tliere can be IVLucli Time and THOUSANDS 

Our Great System of Seventeen Departments supplies every demand. 

Bear us in mind ; make our acquaintance either in person or by mail. 




WF^olesale and F^etail 
Dealer in - 

Fresh and Salted Meats 


.... IN SEAS(3N .... 



AA/E sell strictly on a CASH basis and are thus enabled 
to give you the best Meats, etc., at the lowest pos- 
sible prices. We do not handle anything but the very 
choicest Meats, and pay cash for all Poultry, Butter, 
Eggs, Hides, Pelts and Tallow. 

^^\ B. COVERS, 

Huron Avenue ^^^>' 
2d Door from Post Offce, 




on High Grounds and 
surrounded by beauti- 
ful Lawns and Shade 

principal Depots and 
Street Car Lines. 

Every convenience of 
a well regulated Hos- 
pital, together with all 
the comforts of 
Heated by means of 
furnace; cozy, open fire 
places and gas stoves. 
Lighted with electrici- 
ty and gas. Each room 
newly and elegantly 
furnished with all con- 

formed under most I 
Drable conditions. 

unsurpassed. None but 
affable and Trained 
Nurses employed. No 
pregnant, coiilagious. 


I Rooms, Board. 

LiRht. Fuel, Medicine 
and Nursing, from ,S10 
to .-2.5 per 


for opera 


For further particulars address F. B> FLORENTINE, M. D., 507 S. Washington Ave., Sajinaw, E. S., Mich. 

Did You Ever 
Stop to Think 


That it pays to buy good goods, 
and that they cost no more than an 
inferior article would? 

What we mean is that we can give you new and well 

selected goods for the same money (and 

perhaps less) than you can buy old 

and shelf-worn goods for at 

other places. 

Come in and look at our stock and 
you cannot help but say that we have 
one of the neatest and most 
complete stocks of 
in the county. 

We also carry the finest line of Cream Candies 
that we can buy. 

Thte Fair. 

A. H. SPEARS &. CO. 

Opp. Jewell House, Vassar. 


We keep on hand at al 
times the largest 
and best line of 

Finished . . 

Our prices are as low as possible for 

Good Material and Workmanship. 

We guarantee satisfaction, or no pay. 

Call and inspect our new stock for 189G. 

We have erected most of the best monuments 

in Vassar and surrounding country. 

We are not in the White Bronze humbug. 

A. F. BROGK, Prop. 

Main Street, VASSAR. 


Store is Located in the 


I own the block and am 
here to stay, a fact well worth 
remembering when 
you are buying a 

WATCH . . . 

or a piece of 


on a guarantee. 

I am prepared to do first-class 
work in Watch Repairing, 

Engraving, and 
Fitting Eyes with Glasses. 

You can always depend upon 

finding a nice present 

for a Wedding or Birthday 

in the way of a Watch, 

a piece of Sterling Silver, 

Gold Ring or piece of 

Fine China. 

All Goods Guaranteed, and 

Engraved Without Charge. 







Hlways Has First-Class Httractioqs. 



J. E. BUCK & SOU, 



Huror) fivenue, 

R. A. BOYD & CO. 

Near m. G. \. \. Depot, 



in Fine Ordered Clothing 

& Eastman 

Excel all 

Others. ^.^^-^ 
We have a large assortment 
of Imported Woolens, 
of Best Quality. ..... 

Excellent Business Suits for 


First Glass Clays for 

$2000 to $2300 

Also Fine Dress Suits for 

You will Save 
Money by giving 
Us a Gall. 

Perfect Fit and 
Woi'kniansh ip 


me Reimie weictiaot Tailors 
01 mssor, iicn. 

Over Harrison's Drug Store. 




Press of VALLEY PRINTING CO., Saginaw, Mich.